Beer, Boudin, Louisiana Legislature In Sanity not Session

Today is the day back home in Louisiana. A decade or so from now when I’m teaching a Modern Southern History course, I’ll probably paraphrase from Don McClean:

I can’t remember if I cried

When I saw what they’d done to that nutria’s hide

But something touched me deep inside

The day that sanity died

So bye-bye, crawfish and boudin pie

Paddled my bateau to the levee, while the water was high

And them fishin’ boys were drinkin’ Jax, Dixie, an’ Turbodog with their pie

Singin’ “This’ll be the day sanity will die

This’ll be the day sanity will die”

The legislative session ends at 6:00 pm. The state constitution mandates a “balanced” budget, and the $1.6 billion shortfall must be addressed.

In past years, “balanced” relied upon one time monies, non-recurring revenue, and creative and not so creative accounting switcheroos.   This year, however, those pots of money hidden in the marsh have sunk like Bayou Corne.  The silver and gold stored along the Gulf Coast has eroded faster than the Governor’s sand berms genius.

No today is the day when all the business incentives and tax breaks which were “good” for the past years are now “corporate welfare” in Governor Bobby’s talking point of the day in other states to try to pull the wool over the eyes of some GOP interest group in a delusional quest for the presidency. Well at least the Governor did time one “message of the day” correctly.  There are No Go Zones, except they are for many of the best scholars and entrepreneurs in Louisiana at the institutions of higher education and medical facilities given the efforts to transform all into waste dumps.




Members of the House Ways and Means Committee have already reached out to Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform for clarification of how their oath to the Norquist Pledge can be upheld while everyone considers whether or not pledges of allegiance to the Louisiana State Constitution and the Constitution of the United States of America are applicable to elected representatives of the people of the Bayou State.  Seriously, that really happened.

I certainly respect the analysis of that letter by retired State Budget Director Stephen Winham, and observations by Tom Aswell at Louisiana Voice, and Professor Mann at Something Like the Truth.

Their analyses are certainly more credible in more ways than “Carter has liver pills” to the response received from Grover Norquist.

{It appears that the Norquist reply has been removed from the Americans for Tax Reform website as the link provided in the Picayune no longer works.}  The Hayride, however, pasted a copy of the reply which is linked below

Just review the following from the reply:

“Members of the Louisiana House of Representatives couldn’t even find the political will this year to pass legislation that would end the use of taxpayer resources for the collection of government union dues. The fact that such a commonsense reform couldn’t get done is disconcerting.”

Norquist is referring to HB 418.

In Louisiana one can decide to have practically anything automatically deducted from their state paychecks.  Like it or not that system has been in place for years so resources and costs in that area are practically nil.  Well practically isn’t zero some argue, but seriously it takes a bushel, handbasket, and a string of 3 yard dump trucks to get enough nils to equal a mill (1/10 of 1 percent).

This bill was nothing more than an attack upon teachers.  Please see the letter to the Advocate by Professor Dayne Sherman from Talk About the South linked below.

The Picayune article written by Professor Mann.

And the comments written by Noel Hammatt who was a member of the Baton Rouge School Board but who I describe as an academic researcher of educational issues who has the ability to discuss both in terms of theory and in practice.  Perhaps I am mistaking his current position and while I do not know the gentleman we have mutual friends, and I respect the amount of time and usage of citations in his opinion pieces and analyses.

Not even the sage nutria paddling a bateau beside the great gator riding a unicorn could guess what will happen today in the state legislature.

I’d rate the chances of a veto session taking place following the close of business today as anywhere between slim and none based upon historical precedent and the current membership of the state senate even more so than that on the House side, so without a veto session which honestly would still shudder state government for a few weeks in all likelihood until the session convenes the scenarios are these:

SAVE fails and Bobby Jindal vetoes all or parts of the budget to maintain his allegiance to Grover Norquist and dreams of living in the White House.

SAVE, as idiotic as the proposal is since it does absolutely nothing other than appease Norquist with a bad magic trick, passes the legislature and becomes law.

SAVE passes the House by a simple majority using a rules interpretation, gets challenged and is overturned.

Press in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and “conservative” opinionators critique SAVE as the do nothing farce that it is resulting in a Bobby flip flop and veto to maintain his delusional presidential quest resulting in the continued cuts to higher education and health care services.

My sage nutria in a bateau get a reality TV show and donates all external revenue to the state.

I’m not holding my breath on the latter, and I anticipate, somewhere down the line, that I’ll be thinking of the Great BB King to ease my Blues with my memory of Don McClean as I croon:

I can’t remember if I cried

When I saw what they’d done to that nutria’s hide

But something touched me deep inside

The day that sanity died.